Bid Chung-chiu Farewell with Ten Thousand People

All citizens wake up the Minister of Defense; Accuse the Military of Killing by torture; Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Lying

Event description

On the evening of July 3, 2013, 23-year-old serviceman Hung Chung-chiu suddenly collapsed and convulsed. After being urgently taken to the hospital, he passed away, and the doctors determined that he died from heatstroke and hyponatremic encephalopathy leading to multiple organ failure. His family raised questions about why Hung Chung-chiu, who was about to be discharged in three days, would suddenly die from heatstroke.

After investigation, it was found that on the eve of his discharge, Hung Chung-chiu brought a cellphone with a camera into the military camp, which should have resulted in a reprimand according to regulations. However, he was forcibly sent to solitary confinement for "repentance." On July 3, Hung Chung-chiu participated in training under high temperatures, expressed discomfort, but was not given a break. Later, during dinner, he collapsed and was taken to the hospital with a body temperature that reached 44 degrees Celsius.

This incident immediately sparked strong public discontent. Since the majority of Taiwanese men have experienced compulsory military service, they resonate deeply with the issues within the military system. The news of the Hung case spread online and on PTT, leading people to spontaneously form the "Citizen 1985 Action Alliance" (1985 being the complaint hotline of the Ministry of National Defense, abbreviated as Citizen 1985). On July 20, they initiated the "Citizen Military Call" movement, calling on people to wear white and protest outside the Ministry of National Defense, demanding military human rights reform. This movement had about 30,000 participants, making it the largest social movement against the Ministry of National Defense in Taiwanese history.

On August 3, Citizen 1985 Action Alliance organized the "Bid Chung-chiu Farewell with Ten Thousand People" rally held at Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office. Approximately 200,000 people participated, making it the largest citizen-initiated assembly and march since 2000. The crowd sang "Have You Heard Our Song?" (a cover of a song from the musical "Les Misérables") to express their protest against the government. After the conclusion of the Hung case, Citizen 1985 Action Alliance transformed into the "Citizen Awakening Alliance."


The most significant impact of this movement was the legal reforms. On August 6, 2013, the Legislative Yuan promptly amended the "Military Trial Act," allowing active-duty military personnel to be prosecuted and tried by ordinary judicial authorities during "non-wartime" situations. In April 2015, the Legislative Yuan amended the "Armed Forces Punishment Act,” abolishing "solitary confinement" and the practice of "restraint" (canceling leaves) for low level personnel. Additionally, military personnel who were dissatisfied with disciplinary actions were granted the right to appeal to the courts through administrative litigation.

In terms of political impact, aside from the resignation of the Minister of Defense, several dozen high-ranking military officers faced disciplinary actions. The Citizen 1985 Action Alliance and the subsequent "Citizen Awakening Alliance" also fueled a wave of youth engagement in political and social issues, indirectly contributing to the momentum of the following year's Sunflower Movement.

Participating Organizations

Reference books

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